PhD in Biotechnology


PhD in Biotechnology

Started in the academic year 2009/2010. The minimum number of credits needed to conclude the PhD is 240 (4 years).


The objectives of this course are to provide students with advanced training at the highest level, in the field of biotechnology, emphasizing the multidisciplinary of this knowledge area and promoting a more entrepreneurial attitude of students regarding the knowledge value of generated by them .

Students are welcomed into a high scientific qualification environment with two research centers with international recognition: REQUIMTE, Center of Excellence in Green Chemistry - Clean Technologies and Processes, and the Microbiological Resource Center.


Course Plan and Operation

The Doctoral Programme in Biotechnology (240 ECTS) is structured in three semesters and comprises a PhD degree (60 ECTS) and a PhD thesis (180 ECTS).


  • The mandatory course “Thesis Project” (30 ECTS) has a key role in helping the student to choose a topic of the thesis and, even when the student already has a theme in mind, to establish a study plan that fits the previous training and the theme to be developed, and may include the frequency of seminars or courses. At the end of this unit, the work program, monitored and validated by a prospective advisor, is delivered to the Scientific Committee of the Program. Depending on the concerned subject , the Scientific Committee appoints a Steering Committee before which the student will present / defense / discuss the thesis project. If the project is approved, the student is definitely admitted to the Doctoral Program, and the Scientific Committee formally appoints the Student Advisor and any Co-advisors, based on a proposal of the prospective Advisor.

  • All students must conclude a mandatory course of “Entrepreneurship” (3 ECTS) that is directed to their creativity stimulation and to provide them with practical skills that motivate innovative activities.

  • Optional curricular units (27 ECTS) can be of two types. The student can get up to 18 ECTS through equivalent processes that recognize prior relevant training. At least 9 ECTS of the total of 27 optional ECTS, will be obtained by courses completion recommended by the prospective advisor. These units will complement the student’s training concerning the subject he wants to pursue in his thesis, and should allow the deepening of specific topics and the exploitation of related fields in an interdisciplinary perspective. The list of available optional courses, regularly updated by the Scientific Committee of the Programme, should reflect the existing offer and their considered relevance for the students training. It may include courses offered in other institutions.

  • By completing the course the student has the right to the award of an Advanced Studies Diploma in Biotechnology by NOVA FCT.


  • The thesis should contribute to the advance of the state of the art in the field in which it is held. The work should be publishable in international journals with prior review. It is increasingly expected, to reconcile the concern to carry out high-quality scientific work with the impact creation on society. The mechanisms and reporting times of achieved the scientific results under the thesis should have enough flexibility to accommodate the creation of industrial property and confidentiality agreements with companies that may be associated with the thesis work.


Career opportunities

The achieved training versatility will provide Doctors in Biotechnology career opportunities in various sectors, like in industry as well as services, covering from the pharmaceutical and chemical industries, to veterinary and agriculture, in the research and technology development areas,  commercial services and management. Doctors in Biotechnology may also exercise teaching functions in higher education institutions.

Regulation of the 3rd cycle in Biotechnology



Tuition fee

Portuguese students:

2 750 Euros/ year 

Foreign students:

2 750 Euros/ year 


1st phase: 11th march to 5th april 2024


Entrance requirements for the 2024/2025 academic year

Vacancies for 2024/2025:


Admission rules:

Applicants must meet at least one of following conditions:

To hold, in the scientific area of the program or similar, a master's degree, or legal equivalent. The candidate must have a minimum final grade of 14 in these study cycles;

Hold, in science or similar program, the bachelor's degree and to hold a particularly relevant academic or scientific curriculum, that is recognized by the Councils of the Chemistry Department and of the Life Sciences Departments,and the Scientific Council, as attesting the capacity to carry out the program;

Holds a school, a scientific or professional curriculum, that is recognized by Councils of the Chemistry and Life Sciences Departments as attesting the capacity to carry out the same.


  1. Academic and scientific curriculum;
  2. Possible interview.

Course coordinator:

Professor Pedro Viana Baptista

Registration and Accreditation


Registration number R/A-Ef 3066/2011/AL01 on 07/10/2022


Publication date of the accreditation decision: 03/03/2022

Period of validity of the accreditation:
6 years from 31/07/2020

About the Department of Chemistry

The Department of Chemistry is a permanent organic unity of the NOVA School of Science and Technology, devoted to teaching, to scientific research and to provide services in areas of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Chemical Engineering. The Chemistry Department (DQ, founded in 1981, has recognized market implementation in education and employment, particularly so because of the novelty and specificity introduced by the course in Applied Chemistry with which teaching at the School of Chemistry began.

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About the Department of Life Sciences

The Department of Life Sciences (Departamento de Ciências da Vida - DCV) focuses its activity on teaching and research in fundamental Biology relevant for application in Biotechnology and Biomedicine.

DCV is responsibel for BSc's Courses - Licenciatura em Biologia Celular e Molecular (1st Cycle), MSc's - Mestrado em Genética molecular e Biomedicina (2nd Cycle) and PhD Program in Biology and PhD Program in Biotechnology (Co-coordination with DQ/NOVA FCT), while collaborating in several other courses with NOVA.

DCV is organised in a single Scientific Section, grouping the scientific ares of Microbiology, Genetics and Cell Biology. Research at DCV is integrated into International and National collaborative efforts in the areas of Microbiology, Human and Molecular Genetics, Biotechnology, Nanobiotechnology and Cell Biology.

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